Mona Charen

That's the spirit that will energize the Republican Party and independent voters.

Romney has sometimes hit the right notes, but he needs to more consistently convey a sense of urgency at the fiscal crisis the nation faces. It's fine to reference his private sector experience, but he should then quickly pivot to the national debt, the extraordinary growth of government and the unsustainability of the fiscal path we're on.

This week, the Congressional Budget Office released its Budget and Economic Outlook. It projects a fourth straight year of trillion dollar deficits -- the chief accomplishment of the Obama years. But then, because the CBO must make predictions based on current law, the projections take a turn into fantasyland. The very smart analysts at CBO, advanced degrees in economics notwithstanding, are thus forced to spin fairy tales. This year's goes like this: deficits will plummet as a share of GDP after 2013, dropping to under $200 billion between 2013 and 2022.

This cheerful outlook is bilge. It assumes that the Bush tax cuts (all of them, not just those for the rich) will be permitted to expire, that the cuts in Medicare reimbursement to doctors will not be reversed by Congress (which has never happened before), that the alternative minimum tax will not be indexed to inflation, and that the automatic spending cuts mandated in last fall's budget agreement will indeed happen.

Everyone knows this isn't so. In fact, the CBO, perhaps embarrassed by the numbers in the official forecast, issued an alternative prediction, based not on current law but on what is likely to happen, and that projection is beyond grim.

Just like the social democracies of Europe, the U.S. has made more promises to its citizens (mostly middle class citizens, by the way) than it can possibly pay for. This is the glaring emergency that demands leadership. This, not the middle class, is what Romney ought to be talking about.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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